Accra, Oct. 26, GNA - Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama on Tuesday inaugurated a 25-bed private hospital, Lister Hospital and Fertility Centre and threw a challenge to health professionals to establish similar facilities, especially in areas that were not covered by the health delivery system.
The ultra-modern medical facility, which is located at the Airport Hills, off the Spintex Road, provides general and specialized services in surgery, paediatrics, internal medicine and obstetrics and gynaecology.
It also has a fertility centre with modern equipment to offer specialised services like in-vitro fertilisation, micro manipulative procedures, embryo and sperm freezing.
Alhaji Aliu Mahama said owing to the inadequacy of the facilities in the country, patients had to travel abroad for treatment at very high costs.
He, therefore, urged Ghanaians to make good use of the new facility to help cut down cost of medical bills while receiving early treatment.
He commended the brains behind the establishment of the facility, which, he said, had international standards and offered Post-graduate training for the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons.
The Vice President said the facility had come to fill a void in the health delivery sector by offering wide range of services. He appealed to the public to embrace the National Health Insurance Scheme as a means of setting aside funds to cater for future eventualities.
"The scheme has come to abolish the cash and carry system and to provide you with a pool of funds to cater for future ailments," he said. Alhaji Aliu Mahama also touched on the issue of the exodus of health professionals, which he said was hindering effective health delivery in the country.
Alhaji Aliu Mahama said conditions might be better abroad than in Ghana, but the Government had done a lot over the past four years to improve upon the service conditions of the health sector in order to motivate the workers.
"Facilities at the hospitals are being rehabilitated at a consistent rate to enhance work and the introduction of the Additional Duty Hour Allowance is to make for short falls in the take home pay," he said.
Alhaji Aliu Mahama said the Government had an ongoing programme to provide health personnel with suitable means of transport and special allowances for those working in deprived areas.
He appealed to Ghanaian trained health professionals to be dedicated and determined to sacrifice a little for national development adding: "The countries we find so enticing to migrate to, experienced similar problems as we are currently facing before reaching where they are today."
Dr Edem Kojo Hiadzi, Medical Director of the Hospital, who was also the brain behind the establishment of the facility, said the project, received assistance from the Japanese Grant and the OPEC Fund for International Development.
He said the facility had 50 staff, who are made up of general nursing staff, paediatrics, surgeons and other para-medical staff, a fully computerised record department, a cancer screening equipment and a pharmacy. It also has an ambulance service with home-to-home emergency pick-up service.
He said the second phase of the project would include the expansion of bedding, pharmacy and laboratory and also the provision of eye care and a dental unit.
Dr Hiadzi, who had worked with the Police Hospitals for the past 20 years, said he was challenged to establish the facility after various encounters with other foreign health institutions and the fact that Ghanaians had to travel outside for healthcare that could be provided locally.
"We have successfully performed 180 surgeries and 76 deliveries since the facility started operating in July this year," said.